“We are Japanese”

This morning I came across two little ones running around GMC, a boy and girl around Kindergarden age. The mother was sitting gracefully, eating her jam covered ham and cheese toast, a colorful young woman from Moldova. The children ran between their breakfast plate and their toys, down the hallway and back again, responding to mama’s sharp eastern European tones.

I asked her, “what are their names?”

“Ask them yourselves. They speak English”.

Celine and Jon. Seven and five respectively. I wondered about their family, what it would be like to grow up in Tochigi, Japan, speaking Russian at home, English at church and Japanese in school. They mesmerized me for a moment. The entire family. Stunning. Beautiful in all regards. The cultures blended like ink in water, no way to distinguish, to draw lines or define.

“We are Japanese”, said the woman in a thick Russian accent.

How perfect, I though. I wonder, twenty, thirty, forty years down the road, a generation from now, what will it mean to be Japanese? When Celine and Jon have children of their own, born and raised in Japan, still the memory of communist Europe running through their veins, left their from their parents parents. The taste of freedom and liberation in their make-up, flowing intermingled with the beauty and delicate nature of Japan.

“We are Japanese”, they will say.


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